Rob Scallon, Andrew Huang @ Gramercy Theatre 04/26/2015

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Nothing makes me feel more inadequate quite like seeing someone be able to play an 8 string guitar. That feeling only intensifies when you witness it in person and that’s exactly what happened to me when Rob Scallon took to the stage at Gramercy Theatre for the final show of Tour Because Awesome. He opened his set with a stunning rendition of “Anchor” and a hush immediately fell over the crowd. With the only lights on the theater set on Scallon, it was rather mesmerizing watching him play onstage. But the trance that he put us all in broke when his song ended and naturally cheers from the audience started, telling him to either take off his shirt or do what he feels most comfortable with. (Though that second suggestion probably came with a glimmer of hope that he’d follow the first one.) It was amusing listening to the audience play devil’s advocate with Scallon but if I had to pick, I’d rather listen to him play. He closed out his set with “Rain” and it completely embodied the serenity of an early morning rainfall. Rob Scallon is proof that you don’t need lyrics to make a captivating song or performance.

When Scallon finished his all too short set, Hank Green took to the stage to introduce the next act but first thanked three groups of people at the show. He first thanked the parents in the audience because “it’s a weird thing to have no idea what’s going on.” He then thanked people who made Tour Because Awesome their first ever concert, followed by the folks in the audience attending the show by themselves.

“Shout out to you guys for getting your butt off the couch and doing things that’s not super comfortable.”

Andrew Huang was the next act on the bill and his performance was interpolated with charming stage banter. I’d say that his comical personality won over the crowd but that is now debatable after witnessing the fervor in which the audience tried to catch the boxes of Nerds he threw at them. He played a snippet of a song he wrote about someone not knowing how to express their feelings for a crush and this created plenty of laughter throughout the theater. He followed with his nipple ring song and prefaced it with the story as to how he got his first body enhancement. Huang stated things may get weird and they did, but in the best way possible. His last song caused pandemonium in the audience when YouTuber, Hannah Hart, came onstage to sing “Show Me Where Ya Noms At” with Huang and it was definitely the cherry on top.

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Nancy Hoang created Hopeless Thunder in 2007. She conducts the interviews, writes the articles, photographs the concerts, and handles the site's coding & design. (Basically, she's a control freak.) Her work can also be seen on music publication, CMJ. Contact Nancy for image licensing, assignments, or just to say hi.

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